November 19th, 2013
Time to chop the cranberries!
It is so strange to think we will not be home for Thanksgiving! But that hasn’t stopped me from making a variety of Cranberry based relishes and chutneys. The newest addition is Cranberry Apricot Chutney! I had to make a cranberry condiment that wasn’t hot, I still have to find another recipe that doesn’t bite back. Spicy is popular,but fiery hot is only for the brave of heart?tongue?
I love this time of year….a warm steamy kitchen even when the wind is blowing outside and the snowflakes are flying? Oh, Just a little snow squall ,nothing to worry about! At this point in the canning season other than apples,cranberries and citrus (not native to NH) that are in season I am working out of the canning freezer and what goes into the canning kettle was frozen sometime in the mid summer to early fall. In the last week and a half I have made apple ketchup ,marmalade,my last batch of pectin with Arkansas black apples and cranberry apricot chutney.
Add elegance to your cheese and crackers with fruit pastes (also called fruit cheese)!
I still have to put together our holiday baskets to display at the farmers market , I love doing this. Every year the basket contents change as each canning year is slightly different. My production is directly connected to how my own trees are doing and how the farmers that we buy from are doing. Unfortunately crops fail or production is down and the farmers are not always able to produce the products you need to produce the best possible jelly,pickle or condiment! What this means for the consumer is that when you shop locally you need to be more flexible and be willing to try new things! That is why we do samplings of our products (as do other vendors/farmers ) at the market.Tasting is believing , so try those samples at the farmers market and enjoy this season’s bounty!
November 14th, 2013
We will have a second Thanksgiving with our neighbors on Saturday!
We are not going to be home for Thanksgiving this year and are going to Brandon’s relatives in Massachusetts. Because of the distance we are travelling we are bringing items for the relish tray ,plus applesauce. I plan to bring one of the jars of Fiery Cranberry chili Relish to spice up the meal ! I am bringing rolls that I have made in advance and will take them from the freezer so they can rise in the car while on route and be able to go in the oven when we arrive.
On top of the canning and holiday cooking I have friends who celebrate Hanukkah and I have less than a week to get some packages off….I can’t find my Christmas cards much less where I hid all the Hanukkah and Christmas gifts…………..Help!!!!!!!!!
Since we won’t be home for Thanksgiving we are only getting 2 turkeys from our farming friend Arthur Mountain. We just recently used the last of the three turkeys we purchased last year. This year we will only cook 1/2 a bird on the Saturday after Thanksgiving with our neighbors! But it will still be delicious and having big holiday meals with our neighbors are so much fun,plus my mother in law will be here as well !
Remember to be thankful not just for the food but for family,friends,spouses and partners…don’t take them for granted and let them know how you feel!
October 26th, 2013
This month has flown by…..I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is about a month away…….where does the time go? We had a heavy frost in the middle of the week and the next day we finally had to turn the heat on!
Brandon braised a pork shoulder yesterday and tonight we had pulled pork for dinner while listening to the world series game 3. The braising liquid was very tasty,but it wasn’t very thick so I added two 8 oz jars of Savory Pear Relish . I cooked it down till it coated the back of a spoon and I added the pulled pork. We had polenta and a fennel & carrot slaw with a yogurt dressing, it was a good combination with the pulled pork.
I am still experimenting with Pomona pectin and did two batches of cider jelly. I am not sure I like how brittle the finished jelly is. But I don’t have any previous experience with Pomona so I can’t really say if the brittleness is normal. I have to say using less sugar is good,but many of the recipes just don’t have the depth of flavor as the cooking time is much less, but as the Rolling Stones sang”you can’t always get what you want”.
I have been canning pears as fast as I can and have already processed 31 pint jars of pickled pears! I still have about 25lbs of pears in my basement fridge and I hope to get them pickled in the next two days. The remainder of the pears will go to more low sugar preserves and maybe some more savory pear relish.
October 11th, 2013
The weather is cooling down ,the pears are being blown off the tree and the kitchen stove is hot from 6am-midnight!
So far I have processed 436 canning jars,only about 36 are for our own use. I have been experimenting with using Pomona pectin and I have gotten good results,but the consistency is denser than using my homemade pectin. That isn’t bad ,just different. I have been asked if I have low sugar preserves,which I haven’t had till today. I will continue to experiment using different sweeteners,but I won’t use any splenda , stevia etc. My reasoning is I don’t cook with them and wouldn’t know what they should really taste like or how they react when cooked. I will try honey,raw sugars,concentrated fruit juices as the regular canning season slows down. My husband and I won’t sell anything we wouldn’t eat ourselves. This may seem limiting but it is hard to sell something you don’t believe in!
October 6th, 2013
Today it is rainy and cold. This is the perfect time to make soup from leftovers in the fridge!
two 24oz jars of leftover soup!
I had left over cooked pasta,1/2 a fennel bulb,some local celery that was looking sad,4oz of leftover passata and 1/2 a sweet onion. I sautéed the onion,fennel and celery in a little olive oil. I added some homemade chicken broth and the passata,let it warm up a bit before I put in the leftover pasta. I added some herbs and chopped up baby kale before I served the soup. I must say it was delicious!
October 4th, 2013
What to do with 50lbs of plum tomatoes?Passata!
I made Roasted Pizza Passata! I ended up with 6 pint jars and 27 half pint jars! If you are not familiar with the term passata it refers to tomatoes that have been put through a sieve or food mill.To make passata I roast quartered local plum tomatoes,chopped garlic and shallots topped with fresh basil. I sprinkle salt, sugar, dried Italian herb mix and olive oil. You roast the tomatoes till all the liquid is gone (about 1 1/2 hrs) and put everything in the pan through a food mill. Now you have thick,rich and ready to go pizza sauce! If you have made too much sauce to use in one recipe,it can be frozen (cool it completely before freezing).
September 27th, 2013
Our last 2 weeks outside at the Weare market
Fall is Here!
Yes, I am up to my eyeballs in canning jars. Empty jars, full jars needing labels and jars that should be shelved.
This season I have made many recipes containing all varieties of plums ( Red ,purple,Stanley and Prune). I didn’t do much with peaches and pickled as many nectarines as I could find!
Tomatoes have not been as plentiful so I only have 60lbs of tomatoes in my freezer skinned and ready to go(almost all will go to Sweet Tomato Chutney). Last year I had closer to 150lbs of prepped tomatoes in the freezer. The Plum tomatoes were not plentiful,but they were dense and made very thick oven roasted pizza passata!
I didn’t get as much zucchini or cucumbers as last year and I have not found any white pumpkins…….so sad……….. But what cukes and zucchini I found were made into sweet garlic dill pickles and zany zucchini pickles!
Our pear tree is laden down with at least 100-150lbs of pears. The sheep and goats weren’t allowed near the tree this year,so I am getting more of the fruit on the lower branches! I am planning to do as many pint jars of pickled pears as possible. Possibly the softer pears will go into Pear and ginger jam or Pear Honey.
June 2nd, 2013
Come see us Saturday June 8th at The old meeting house in Webster, NH from 11am-4pm. There will be farmers, artists and musicians,what a great way to spend a early almost summer day! There will also be a free wine tasting from Coffin Cellars Winery. Come and help us celebrate art & local agriculture!
We have eggs,bacon,ham steaks and a variety of beef and pork cuts to cook on the grill. We still have some lamb cuts left and if you want chickens cut your way,you need to order them now!
May 19th, 2013
Weare Summer Market June-October Weare Town Gazebo
The winter farmers markets will be moving outside!The Friday Weare Market will move June 7th (4-6:30pm) to the Gazebo area next to the middle school. The Saturday Contoocook market (9am-12noon) will be at the Depot June 1st! Come on down and find meat,veggies,plants & preserved food to compliment your summer meals!
You say you don’t have time to visit the market,but it is on the way home….the solution is to order & pay online at the Harvest to Market site and then it will be a quick trip just to pick up your purchases!
May 19th, 2013
Iris about to bloom next to our front door
close up of an Iris
Yes, everything is growing,the chicks,lettuce in the green house,lambs out in the field and the bugs! I love seeing everything blooming ,the wild flowers along the road ,the Bosc pear and wild cherry trees.
The Iris patch next to our front door has slowly gotten larger . This year the patch is bigger ,more blooms and it makes me smile to see how well it is doing. But ,it is crowding the granite stairs and I can’t contain it without damaging the plants. I will need to move the patch this fall and create a more permanent enclosure to contain it and protect it from our dogs .